Mrs-O.com is a blog dedicated to chronicling the fashion and style of First Lady Michelle Obama. Founded September 2008. 


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Alaia Redux

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague meets with the US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama

Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert

The Obamas attended a United Nations General Assembly reception at the Waldorf Astoria on Monday evening. For the event, Mrs. O rewore an Alaia frock, previously seen here and here, paired with a low heel for the occasion. Pictured above, the president and first lady pose with UK Foreign Secretary William Hague.

Something to ponder: I've noticed that the first lady is rewearing key pieces from her closet quite a bit lately, perhaps more than usual. Is it a style savvy approach to minimize media focus with the election upcoming? Or an effort to get mileage out of investment pieces? Maybe a little of both?

Reader Comments (48)

I've noticed the increased recycling as well. I think it's a conscious effort to ward off criticism for extravagance during the run up to the election. She has gotten so much flak for her wardrobe over the last 4 years, and I think it's smart not to provide her critics with ammunition. Since she is so carefully scrutinized, people notice when she is shopping her closet. If it tones down the critical rhetoric, it's fine by me. And it's not like it isn't fun to see some of her wonderful choices a few more times.
That said, I hope she goes out on an inaugural gown!

Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 12:22 AM | Registered Commenteroperafanatic

I always liked this dress, and while I do believe it is a concious effort to avoid unnecessary attention for extravagance during this key point in President Obama's reelection, I'm still enjoying the repeats!

Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 2:04 AM | Registered Commenterboazwife

Wow, what a difference a heel makes. This dress takes on a different look when it's worn with flats. I still like it, but I must admit that I like it a lot better as an evening outfit where she is all glammed up!
I think you guys a right about our Michelle shopping that closet. That's a wise decision in this political season and practical, too. I never get tired of her repeats, either.

Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 8:58 AM | Registered CommenterCharlene in Detroit

Always good to gaze her repeats...for me I would still like to see this dress complemented with a heel; but it is as mentioned previously, it is an election year....Love you First Lady!

Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 10:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterAdear

Hey OpFan, Boazwife, and CID!!! It's all Mrs. O veterans on this thread so far and ME LIKEY!!!
Yes, I like her repeats too and it probably is a practical choice, but I hate that that's something she has too think about. Miss Ann doesn't have to think about it and she's way richer than FLOTUS.

CID, you know I'm not a heel girl myself, but the flats are not a good look with this dress. I know she's probably wearing them because she doesn't want to tower over the people she has to take pics with, LOL!

Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 10:30 AM | Registered CommenterNyon

Hi, I'm a longtime lurker on this site - I respect Mrs. O so much. I think she is very wise to shop her closet during this election cycle. She has had four years to build up her wardrobe to suit her current responsibilities, and this election isn't about her. I think she is doing exactly the right thing avoiding unnecessary attention and devoting her energies to supporting the POTUS in his campaign and campaigning on his behalf. That said, I too hope she goes all out with a wonderful new gown for the inauguration!

Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 11:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterLinda M

It looks like there was a fringe on the hem during a previous wearing.
During these economic times it is good to see some ensembles being worn again. Some pieces (the dress for the CBC dinner) are worth it.

Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 11:45 AM | Unregistered Commenterpt821

It seems that the dress was altered at the hem.

Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 11:53 AM | Unregistered Commenterva

I would repeat most of those dresses if they were mine becasue they are beautiful and worth repeating......I am still trying to get over the last evening gown that she wore. Well for whatever reason that she is repeating them I am enjoying them a lot when she matches them differently. Go...Michelle go!!! You are the best.!

Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 12:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlma

Love Mrs. O. But This time i think the dress is too short for the occasion and the flats just don't work for me either. I mean it was a reception of all heads of states....This was a miss to me. She should have kept it glammed up with the tulle at the bottom of the dress. That would have been perfect for the occasion!

Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 12:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterKreen

Hi Veterans of Mrs O..........I hope I am considered one as well. What makes the dress less dressed up is the removal of the underskirt. Can't remember what the material is called. Back in the day we used to say "Can Can". It MAY be Tulle??? Makes a BIG difference.

Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 1:12 PM | Registered Commentertrinisamba

Yep, Trinisamba, you're a vet too!!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 1:49 PM | Registered CommenterNyon

yes, love the clothes and feel she is very politically savvy in using her closet more.

Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 2:50 PM | Unregistered Commenterirenegudrun

Haven't posted in months! My first thought was that she is wearing flats because she does tower over the other leaders and their wives, even in flats. She could have been in heels all day and simply needed to be more comfortable. She also is super smart to recyle. And wasn't that some speech at the convention? What a Lady.

Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 3:52 PM | Unregistered Commenterdenisegirl

It's odd w/o the peticoat... and the flats/kitten heels make it look really informal. This is a more... shall we say, approachable look.

Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 4:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterMr L

Calling other vets: Jestina, Posh Tater, IVA, Bevi and Barb!
Did I miss anyone? If I did reveal yourselves! We miss and need you.
Hello everybody!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 5:50 PM | Registered CommenterCharlene in Detroit

Much better without the tulle, but still not my favorite. Yes, I think the re-do's are because of the campaign.

Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 7:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterKathie

This site is becoming elititist and predictable. Only positve comments are allowed so it is really not a forum for fashion opinions it is a forum for the "vets" to gush all over the Obamas. No wonder there are fewer and fewer comments - too much censorship.

Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 8:57 PM | Unregistered Commentergaylev

Hello CID! Auntie Mom Vet here-smile! I remember calling it a "Petticoat" as a little girl Trinisamba! Wore them under wide skirts and dresses. It does make the dress look different for sure--not having the underskirt and the heels!

Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 8:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterAuntie Mom

I've noticed too. I'm sure everyone is right that it's a political decision, but I've also wondered if it could be that when Mrs O started as First Lady, she was essentially in new job mode and had to build her first lady appropriate wardrobe. Now, she's done the job for years, she has all these great clothes she hasn't worn too much, she probably loves them and she is relishing the chance to wear them again.
I guess that's my preferred viewpoint, because it seems less restricting for her.

Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 9:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterAmy

Love all of the familiar names on this comment thread!

Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 9:58 PM | Registered CommenterMrs. T

Hey Mrs. T and Auntie Mom!!
CID, we need Christina, Jerseygirl, Groovy, Meta, Haichiko (she had a different name on here, but all I can remember is her name from TOD), Terri Star from Austin(sorry I can't remember your whole name), and a whole host of others!!! You guys come out and play! We all aren't even on here and people are mad. Just think about all the love we could shed on Mrs. O and have the haters heads exploding!! Mwahahahahahahahaha!!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 10:26 PM | Registered CommenterNyon

Gaylev says: This site is becoming elititist and predictable. Only positve comments are allowed so it is really not a forum for fashion opinions it is a forum for the "vets" to gush all over the Obamas. No wonder there are fewer and fewer comments - too much censorship.

That's not quite the case. Some of those "vets" have voted thumbs down on numerous occasions. And since when is a "vet" elitist? Doesn't that simply mean "a person who has grown old"?

The fewer comments may have more to do with the momentum of the blog. FLOTUS has had fewer appearances until the campaign got under way. And there haven't been "filler" posts to (say) vote on her outfits or whatever. Blogs depend on that sort of momentum and it seems to be (re)building since the campaign began.

That people should call out to each other after a long absence isn't "elitist" either. Let's, please, leave the petty school-yard stuff behind. It spoils the reading fun. Say what you want to say with reasons why you feel the way you do. Let's each of us agree to respectfully disagree and point out errors in reasoning or offer other perspectives without condemnation. We are grown-ups, aren't we?

Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 10:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhilly

Sorry to be slow ladies!! I vote for rewearing, very practical and sends a good message.

Friday, September 28, 2012 at 11:39 AM | Registered CommenterGroovy

To quote Ketut in Eat Pray, Love, the President and first lady smile with their liver. On the subject of the dress, I loved it the first time and I love it now. (Waving hard to all the Mrs O.com vets especially Charlene in Detroit).

Friday, September 28, 2012 at 6:45 PM | Registered CommenterJestina ( London, England)

I like that she is recycling her clothes. Wearing them in different ways for different occasions is a good lesson for us all. We do not have to buy a new outfit for a special occasion. We can shop our closet, still look fresh and new. Also, I think it is a political decision.

Friday, September 28, 2012 at 7:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterJudy

@Amy, I think you have a good point about Mrs. O building a wardrobe for the job. She didn't have as many public appearances as a senator's wife. In any case, I think it's great to see these dresses again. This one doesn't look quite right without that tulle (or whatever it is) at the hem, though.

Friday, September 28, 2012 at 8:55 PM | Unregistered Commentera MI Mom

Lurker and non-vet poster here! I've read (via Robin Givhan and other sources), that Mrs. O's spending on clothes caused friction with the POTUS' staff and with the POTUS himself. Apparently, Barack himself was a little mortified by how much Mrs. O was spending on clothes and recognized that they can't depend on his book sales to generate huge amounts of cash while they're in office. While the Obamas are very well off (net worth around $7-10M), they are indeed not the Romneys, worth $250M, with $20M in yearly earnings from "passive investments" every yeah. So yeah, keeping it real: she probably needs to reign it in, based on political and financial reasons.

Friday, September 28, 2012 at 11:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterLawgurl

She looks so great. And it's smart to shop the closet, inspiring me to do so this fall too. Although she must spend a lot on clothes, other FLs had certainly set that precedent; Nancy Reagan's Galanos and other serious designers come to mind, as well as Jackie Kennedy...and MO's encouragement of young American designers has been so fantastic. Thanks for keeping us updated, Mrs. T!

Saturday, September 29, 2012 at 1:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnne

@ Lawgurl, Do you have any links to articles or other factual evidence from credible sources to back up your claims. If not, what you say is pure speculation and should not be stated as facts. I read plenty of stuff about the Obamas. I watch almost every talk show or news show that they're on. Basically, I'm damn near a stalker, LOL, but I've never come across what you've said or heard PBO complain about Mrs. O clothing expenses. That's why I find it hard to believe what you say is true. This is a sincere question. I'm not trying to be funny.

Saturday, September 29, 2012 at 4:46 PM | Registered CommenterNyon

I never liked this dress and I don't like it with flats BUT this Lady was on FIRE in Appleton, Wis this afternoon. Lord, we need 4 more years of Michelle Obama at her husband's side to take this country forward! Oh yeah, and 4 more years of fashion.

Saturday, September 29, 2012 at 6:33 PM | Unregistered Commenterdasie

I agree with Kreen above.The dress is too short for the occasion and the flats just don't work for me especially for a reception of all heads of states/ UN visit....This was a miss to me too.
She is First Lady, so she can wear what she likes. But many at times I (key word I) feel she should wear longer hems based on her height and knees. Personally I have very unflattering thighs (an hour glass figure though), hence the need to choose other styles that may be more flattering. The dress none the less is beautiful, but it wears her, and not her wearing the dress like she usually does.

Sunday, September 30, 2012 at 12:04 AM | Unregistered Commentermimi

Hi ladies,
I used to post but everytime I wrote my honest opinion, someone wrote a nasty response so I don't do it anymore. I still look and like what I see
but I am not going to give anyone a chance to insult my opinion.
Char from Seattle

Monday, October 1, 2012 at 11:09 PM | Unregistered Commenterchar

Lawgurl we hear all sorts of stuff like that here and I think it's safe to say that anything you read in the papers doesn't count as a reliable source. :-) She's a one-woman recession buster so I'm delighted to see her inspiring people to shop, in the US and abroad. You should check out *those* pieces of research, they're quite impressive.

This dress is, without doubt, the only thing I've seen on Mrs O, that I actively SAG in disgust when I see it. It's badly cut, it's horrible fabric, a weird length.... I'm quite proud of how much I loathe it. And breaking my rule of only saying nice things. :-) I do wish someone would accidentally burn it.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 8:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterPosh Tater

Posh Tater...you sure have set the record straight that all we do is gush, fawn and say nothing but candy land sweet stuff about the First Lady.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012 at 10:56 AM | Unregistered Commenteradear

Posh, How RUDE!!! First, you break the G code by not liking Mrs. O dress and then you say it should be burned. At least you could have said she needed to donate it or something. I guess I don't know you after all! ;-(


Wednesday, October 3, 2012 at 11:49 AM | Registered CommenterNyon

I looked at the picture on May 18/09 with Mrs. O wearing the same dress -
The American Ballet Opening Night Spring Gala, many posters liked the dress. Looking at her hairstyle with side-sweep bangs, with a fabulous
cut, is one of my favourite hair cuts to date.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012 at 12:03 PM | Registered CommenterFern Gullie

Interesting observation Mrs. T and I like operafanatic's response.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012 at 1:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterMrs 2S

Nyon...Nyon..Nyon hush please:)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012 at 2:36 PM | Unregistered Commenteradear

Adear, what I do?! :-)

Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 1:27 PM | Registered CommenterNyon

Oh Nyon....you just bring a certain sparkle to this blog:)

Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 2:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterAdear

Wow! A reunion! Posh is right - Mrs. O is a walking boon to the fashion industry, and also to women's self-esteem. What she has done to decrease the ravages of childhood obesity is nothing short of heroic. AND she looks good. I may not always love her wardrobe choices, but I love her
efforts to have fun with clothes.

Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 9:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterBevi

Adear, Thanks!! You're not half bad yourself!!! LOL!! Seriously, you're cool people!!

HI BEVI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, October 5, 2012 at 2:19 PM | Registered CommenterNyon

I liked this dress very much the very first time around. Her arms looked much smaller then in this dress. Her arms look much chunkier this time, which makes the dress unflattering. I am also one of those that have desisted from posting much anymore. If the dress isnt a homerun and you give your honest opinion, some people take it really personal. Now I KNOW fashion and I know what looks good and what doesn't. I cant state it any other way.

Sunday, October 7, 2012 at 1:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterMrs. A


Monday, October 8, 2012 at 6:18 PM | Registered CommenterLINDA B

Mrs. A since you KNOW fashion, how come you did not think to start a blog about the First Lady?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 10:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterAdear

HA!!! Adear, and you wanna talk about me!! LMAO!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 8:45 PM | Registered CommenterNyon

Oh Nyon;) I can only wish....

Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 5:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterAdear

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